There’s probably nothing better than waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning. If you love coffee, you must have tried different espresso concoctions at home and your favourite café. But were you aware that this popular coffee drink is the purest and simplest form of coffee?
Espresso is a coffee drink that gained popularity in Italy in the 1900s. The literal meaning of espresso is “pressed-out coffee.” It also defines how espresso is done – espresso is brewed by forcing a small amount of hot water through finely crushed coffee beans. Traditionally, espresso doesn’t have milk, but several coffee recipes use espresso shots such as an espresso Macchiato or a Cortado espresso.
Purchasing an espresso machine for your home may seem frivolous and impractical at first. But if you calculate the costs of buying your favourite espresso drinks at the local coffee shop, a great machine may save you more money in the long run. If this is your first time to buy an espresso machine, a word of warning – there are numerous options to choose from! Find out the essential factors that you should consider when purchasing an espresso machine.
5 Tips When Buying an Espresso Machine
- Choose an espresso machine that includes features relevant to you
It makes no sense to buy an espresso machine if you can’t use it at home. You should consider the usability of the espresso machine before deeming it the most suitable one.
For example, if you prefer a semi-automatic espresso machine, does it have controls that let you manage the boiler temperature? Do you prefer a ‘”piston-style” manual espresso machine that looks great but requires more work in general? Do you prefer an automatic espresso machine to get the perfect espresso shot with one push of a button?
- Make sure to consider the quality of the espresso machine
It may sound cliché, but it’s true, not all espresso machines are made equal. When buying an espresso machine, it’s crucial to consider the quality of the equipment.
It’s better to buy an espresso machine made of sturdy stainless steel. An espresso machine fabricated from light materials such as plastic can break easily. Remember that an espresso machine is an investment. The quality of the equipment correlates to the cost; thus, an espresso machine made of high-quality materials will last longer than machines fabricated using cheap materials.
- Think about the espresso machine’s size and capacity
Another important consideration when looking at espresso units is the size and capacity of the machine. You need to assess your consumption and the space available in your home.
In general, a professional-grade espresso machine is sturdier and heavy-duty, unlike smaller units that can falter if used all day. You have to check how much beans the espresso machine can store or if you need to purchase an external coffee grinder. The size of the espresso machine also determines the amount of water it can save. A small espresso unit will only be capable of producing a few shots compared to a bigger one. Lastly, the size of the espresso unit shouldn’t be too large unless you have enough space in your home or apartment.
- Find out how convenient (or difficult) it is to clean the espresso machine
A well-kept espresso machine will last longer than a unit that’s not appropriately maintained. The quality of the espresso shots are affected by the cleanliness of the device.
Make sure to find out how easy or difficult it is to clean and maintain your preferred espresso machine. Is it easy to disassemble and conveniently put back afterward? You need to clean the filters, basket, shower head, and steam wand to make sure the espresso machine works properly. Regular cleaning and maintenance ensures that your investment will last a long, long time.
- Set a realistic budget for buying an espresso machine
Not all people can shell out a thousand dollars or more for an espresso machine. There are plenty of options available in the market, with the cheapest unit costing a few hundred dollars.
If you have enough money to spare, it’s advisable to invest in a quality espresso machine. Pricier machines don’t guarantee excellence, but the branded ones are usually more durable and reliable. You should set a reasonable amount for an espresso machine while keeping the features and functions in check.
The recommendations above will give you an idea on how to choose the best espresso machine for your needs and preferences. Buying a reasonably-priced machine with your desired features can be tricky, but not impossible. With ample research and a flexible budget, you can get your hands on the perfect espresso machine in no time.